It's just about time for road tripping season in Minnesota, but rather than visiting all of the usual hot spots, why not try some off-the-beaten-path hidden gems like the ones on this list?

Avoid the crowds and see some truly extraordinary sights at these five parks in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.

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According to Only In Your State, the trip takes a grand total of 8 hours and covers nearly 500 miles.

  1. Monson Lake State Park: This diamond in the rough is located just outside of the town of Wilmar. With an abundance of hiking, fishing, camping, and picnic areas, it's a great place to begin your road trip.
  2. Lake Maria State Park: Head east and you'll soon find Lake Maria State Park. A place where you can get lost in the forest, experience some of the best bird watching in the state, find some great fishing spots, and even hop in a canoe.
  3. Carley State Park: Next up, head south for 2 hours until you run into Carley State Park, where you can fish for trout, see the abundance of wildflowers, and hike along its numerous trails.
  4. Kilen Woods State Park: Make your way westward and make a pit stop at Kilen Woods State Park. This is an excellent place for paddling along the rapids, hiking, and the perfect spot for a picnic.
  5. Upper Sioux Agency State Park: Saving the best for last? You betcha! Upper Sioux Agency has breathtaking views from its bluffs, plenty of wildlife, and even a number of historic sites.

Story Source: Only In Your State Minnesota

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